Aaron Sabato Signs, Sees Twins as Perfect Fit
Image courtesy of Rebecca LawsonWhen meeting with media, Aaron Sabato reiterated often just how well he fits into the Minnesota Twins organization. At one point, he noted, “I’m in the perfect spot with this organization and I want to be a Minnesota Twin.”
That connection is obvious. As we discussed before the draft, the Sean Johnson-led Twins scouting group has made a concerted effort to select powerful collegiate bats in the high rounds. That has been evident in the selections of Brent Rooker, Ryan Jeffers, Matt Wallner and now Aaron Sabato; all college sluggers who absolutely mash.
In 83 college games at North Carolina (64 in 2019, 19 in 2020), he hit .332/.459/.698 (1.158) with 31 doubles, 25 homers and 81 RBI. He walked 61 times to go with 72 strikeouts.
Sabato recalled a conversation he had with Twins minor league hitting coordinator Donegal Fergus shortly following the draft. Sabato said that Fergus reiterated the Twins hitting philosophy. “We want you to swing at strikes. We want you to take balls, and we want you to hit the ball a long way and do it at a high rate without striking out and walking a ton. For me, that’s what I base my hitting about. I’m trying to do the most damage on every pitch, but also be disciplined enough to take my walks and spit on the good pitches.”
Sabato knew right then and there that he was in a great situation for himself. “Right there, (I realized) that I was in a pretty good spot with the organization that had just drafted me.”
Sabato discussed drills that he has done often in college with his hitting coaches. He stands in the batter’s box and takes pitches, calling out the pitch type and its location. He said it has helped burn into his brain what strikes and balls look like, and ultimately which pitches he can try to hit really hard.
He also talked about hitting against top pitchers such as former Gopher right-hander, and the #3 overall pick in the 2020 draft, Max Meyer in February.
It is a challenge, of course, but Sabato has learned how he wants to handle those situations.
“People say you have to get amped up, but for me it’s How calm can I be and How relaxed can I be against the best guys? And that’s when I’m at my best.” Sabato continued, “I realized I need to get more disciplined and more fine tuned in how I go about it. That’s what I’ve learned. I stopped worrying about who I am facing and started just worrying about what am I doing in the box.”
The reality is that he has lofty goals for himself and all pitchers that he will face going forward are going to be good, and should he get to the big leagues, he will want to remain calm for every at bat.
“I want to play Major League Baseball, and I want to do really well for a really long time.”
With the signing of Sabato, the Twins have signed three of their four 2020 draft picks. Last week, they signed UT outfielder Alerick Soularie and prep pitcher Marco Raya. Kala’i Rosario, a high school outfielder from Hawaii, was their fifth round pick. He remains unsigned. The team is about $150,000 under their slot value, so they could go well above Rosario’s slot value of about $330,000.
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